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Leslie Jones is paying it forward.
The Saturday Night Live comedian turned Olympics NBC commentator has taken to Twitter in hopes of steering the Gabby Douglas social media conversation from hate to love.
The American gymnast, who was the superstar of the 2012 London Games, has been hit with non-stop criticism during her run at the Rio Games, something with which Jones is all too familiar.
The Ghostbusters star temporarily quit Twitter after she was hit with an onslaught of social media abuse, prompting the director of the movie reboot, Paul Feig, to launch a #LoveForLeslieJ hashtag to help stop the attacks. Twitter ultimately stepped in and Jones rejoined the network, upping her social media stardom.
“Yo I just heard Gabby getting attacked on her page show her the love you showed me #LOVE4GABBYUSA send to @gabrielledoug,” Jones tweeted to her 540,000 followers on Sunday.
— Leslie Jones (@Lesdoggg) August 15, 2016
During the Rio Games, Douglas has been accused of being unpatriotic for not putting her hand over her heart during the national anthem and being bitter of teammates Simon Biles and Aly Raisman’s gold and silver wins, respectively, and has even been given the nickname “Crabby Gabby.” She also has been attacked over her hair and her “lack” of smiling.
The 20-year-old even felt the need to take to Twitter to apologize — sparking a slew of “Gabby Has Nothing to Apologize for” headlines coming to the gymnast’s defense.
— Gabrielle Douglas (@gabrielledoug) August 10, 2016
“You go from people’s adoration to being the brunt of criticism and hatred,” Douglas’ mom, Natalie Hawkins, told CNN on Monday. “It is hard, because her nature is so giving and so kind … it was harsh to boil down your patriotism to one act.”
Celebrities and fans have been tweeting their support to Douglas and on Monday, the gymnast thanked Jones for helping to spread love.
Thank u so much for all the love! My heart is full! @Lesdoggg I love you guys!
— Gabrielle Douglas (@gabrielledoug) August 15, 2016
Ahead of the Rio Games, Douglas didn’t qualify for the individual all-around finals, the event she won gold for in London, because she placed third (behind Biles and Raisman) and only two can compete per country. She won a team gold medal in Rio and placed seventh in the uneven bars on Sunday.
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